UK Procurement Bill passing through Parliament

Procurement Bill: Latest Update

In December we provided a summary that described the UK progress being made on the forthcoming new Procurement Bill (please see below)

We intend to regularly update our members on headlines linked to the proposed changes as they are at the core of what we do.

Several webinars have been rolled out from central government during January 2023 , hopefully you will have attended at least one of them.

A useful overview of stages completed has been shared widely, showing the anticipated timelines involved before the new Bill is live.

The bill is still going through the many stages of discussion and approval with the hope of completion towards Spring 2023 at the earliest. 

Once the bill reaches its royal assent there will then be a 6-month implementation stage due to the complexities of the changes anticipated, this will take us to the early months of 2024.

For anyone who has not attended a webinar there are aspects that you can prepare for within your institutions  

  1. Look at the L & D proposal containing 4 levels and consider what you may need for your teams. ( Note: We have previously collated HE requirements on this and fed back ) 
  2. Consider your processes and policies – make sure they are robust and clear and would not be difficult to incorporate into aims of the new regime.
  3. Prepare for digital change by speaking to your eTender provider , what are their plans , how will you work with them.
  4. Volunteer to test and get involved.
  5. Familiarise yourself with the transparency ambition.
  6. Prepare for a smooth transition – contract pipelines, supplier discussions , documentation.


For any further information please contact Lorraine Whelan

Transforming Public Procurement Update - December 2022 

We are sharing this Procurement Bill update from the Government Commercial Function (GCF) in the interests of our members and suppliers.

The Procurement Bill completed its passage through the House of Lords last week with a number of Government amendments made following detailed debate.  The majority were minor or technical - but there were also some significant policy changes that are now reflected in the current version of the Bill, most notably to support economic growth and reduce burdens on contracting authorities. You can view the Bill on the website. The key changes are:

  • A specific duty on contracting authorities to have regard to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
  • Provisions to ensure that contracting authorities may not require:
    • audited accounts to test the financial standing of bidders as part of conditions of participation, unless they are already required to have their accounts audited under the Companies Act 2006. 
    • insurance relating to the performance of the contract to be in place before the award of the contract - so SMEs do not need to incur unnecessary bidding costs in taking out insurance cover without the guarantee of winning the contract.
  • A revision of the threshold above which contracting authorities must publish specific transparency data (key performance indicators, publication of contracts, contract change notices) from £2 million to £5 million, to reduce the burden of these requirements on contracting authorities and ensure a more proportionate approach in focussing on the larger contracts.
  • An amendment to include, in the text of the Bill, an explicit duty on the Minister for the Cabinet Office to provide a central, freely accessible, digital platform.
  • Finally, contracting authorities will now be required to share with all participants a redacted assessment summary of the winning bid only and send the unsuccessful bidders their own summary privately.

Key Timelines

  • First reading of The Bill in the House of Commons - 14 December 2022. 
  • A Second Reading debate covering the general principles of the Bill; several days of Committee, where the Bill’s provisions are debated clause by clause; followed by Report and Third Reading – January 2023
  • Following Royal Assent, the necessary Statutory Instruments (regulations) will be developed -  anticipated in Spring 2023
  • A minimum of six months’ notice will be given before “go-live”.  The existing legislation will apply until the new regime goes live and will continue to apply to procurements started under the old rules. 
  • Advice for contracting authorities on things to consider around managing the transition to be published in the new year (2023).

Progress on development of the Single Central Digital Platform

The central digital platform will be a single place built out from the Find a Tender platform where a new procurement ‘noticing’ regime, covering the full lifecycle of public procurement, from planning through to contract expiry, will be developed.

New notices are being built in Find a Tender. Contracting authorities will continue to be able to either create notices directly in the platform or have them automatically sent through via their eProcurement system when new activity takes place there.

eProcurement systems providers will have to make changes to support the new notices. GCF is already engaging with these companies and will also be making all technical documentation open to provide information for new companies which may want to enter this space.  It is envisaged that a bespoke test environment will be available to eProcurement systems providers from Spring 2023 although the system will not be available to use until the new regime becomes active.  

Further information on the Transforming Public Procurement transparency ambition can be found here

Progress on development of L&D

Good progress is being made on developing and testing the Knowledge Drops for contracting authorities and suppliers (including SME and VCSE suppliers) and the e-learning modules for contracting authority practitioners, as outlined in the L&D offer here

There is a developing community of Single Points of Contact (SPOCs) across the public sector, with whom GCF is working to ensure that the L&D reaches right across the target audience.  470 L&D superusers are registered.  If you are procurement practitioner within a contracting authority and you would like to become a superuser, please email [email protected].  

Opportunities to find out more

GCF plan to run three open-access webinars for those who want to know more about the journey through the Lords and next steps.  You can register for these here:

Transforming Public Procurement Update, Friday 13 January at 10:30-11:30

Transforming Public Procurement Update, Wednesday 18 January at 14:00-15:00

Transforming Public Procurement Update, Monday 23 January at 14:30-15:30

The Transforming Public Procurement landing page is the repository for a range of information about the programme; GCF will keep adding material here. Registrations are still open for the two Procurement Reform Conferences at which Cabinet Office speakers will be covering a range of topics on 1 March (in London) and 14 March (in Manchester). The events are free for public sector attendees. For more details on the events, and to register, visit BiP Solutions’ conference website


Keeping in touch

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Last updated 20/12/22